The LART FAQ
This page provides answers to the following questions:
The LART is a small yet powerful embedded computer capable of running Linux. Its performance is around 250 MIPS while consuming less than 1 Watt of power. In a standard configuration it holds 32MB DRAM and 4MB Flash ROM, which is sufficient for a Linux kernel and a sizeable ramdisk image.
LART stands for Linux Advanced Radio Terminal. That's what we officially call it anyway; as with all four-letter acronyms, it is just possible that LART is overloaded.
LART should be able to support any OS that has an ARM port and doesn't require special hardware gadgets. Operating systems like NetBSD, pSOS and Inferno are some examples; see http://www.arm.com/ and http://developer.intel.com/design/strong/ for a more complete overview. It's even possible to port WinCE, although we can't imagine why anyone would want to.
We are very sorry, but we don't sell LARTs. We are a university, and the LART is just a research tool. We have no plans (read: no time) to make the LART commercially available ourselves. However, all CAD files are available, so if you would like to produce LARTs yourself (and possibly sell them), feel free. If you do decide to produce LARTs commercially, drop us a line so we can link to you.
Update: A number of excess LART boards are available through Remote12. Check the news page for more information.
All CAD files required for building LART are available under the closest we could get to an Open/Free Hardware License (see the LICENSE file). All software and kernel patches are released under the GNU GPL.
Here is The Long StoryTM.
As soon as we're confident that it works. We use the following release cycle:
Complicated story. The problem is that you can't burn the flash while running code from that flash at the same time. The LART team solves this by having an external flash board that is mapped at address 0x00000000 and at the same time remaps the internal flash at 0x08000000 (hence the names internal and external flash in blob). Of course this is just a kludge, blob just has to relocate itself to RAM. However, this is something that we haven't been able to do, compiling with -fPIC is not enough. We're still working on it.
However, there is a workaround: burn the flash from Linux. You need a recent Linux kernel (2.4.0-test4-np1 or newer) with the flash_mem module compiled. Here's how:
It is possible that you have to make room for the ramdisk image, possibly by creating a second ramdisk.
Update: The ARM flash_mem module is no longer supported, use the SA1100 MTD Flash driver instead.
Please don't, the LART core team is already swamped in email. General questions should be asked on mailing lists, simply because using a mailing list improves your chances of getting an answer. Here is a small list to select which mailing list to use. Questions about:
If you ask a question on one of these lists, don't CC to a member of the LART core team; there is at least one member of the core team subscribed to each of the above mailing lists. Also avoid cross posting between several mailing lists, unless you really know what you are doing. And please read the mailing list archives before you post, your question might already be answered and considered a FAQ.
I sent an email message to one of the LART core team members but I didn't get a reply. Isn't that rude?
Maybe. The LART core team gets quite a lot of LART related email, and in order to get something done, we don't reply to all messages. Especially if your question is a FAQ or if it could have been asked on a mailing list (see question 9), your chances of getting a reply are very low.